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Dish: If Comcast Can Buy Time Warner Cable, We Can Buy DirecTV
by Karl Bode 08:10AM Monday Feb 24 2014
Never one to miss an opportunity to push for a merger with DirecTV, Dish CEO Charlie Ergen states that if regulators allow Comcast to merge with Time Warner Cable, they should also allow DirecTV to merge with Dish (even though Dish and DirecTV actually compete). "This puts pressure on everybody that in a way is a bit unprecedented," Ergen recently complained. "…Nothing I can see is positive about this. If you are a pay TV provider and your name is not Comcast or Time Warner Cable, I don’t see anything positive." DirecTV and Dish attempted to merge back in 2002, but had their ambitions blocked by regulators who argued it reduced competition in the pay TV sector.

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ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage

3 recommendations

Bad idea!!!

I don't have as big of a problem with Comcast buying Time Warner because they do not have systems in the exact same areas.
I do have a problem with Directv and Dish merging because they directly compete nationwide and are often the only two options for people, especially in rural areas. Their only other competition is in areas that have cable and/or telco tv.

Plus I have directv now and don't want Charlie ruining it.

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Bad idea!!!

I wonder what is the larger share of satellite business - rural people with no other choice, or urban/suburban people trying to cut the cord. if it's mostly people with good cable/fiber/dsl options who are simply trying to get cableTV content cheaper, then rural customers might get left out of this decision in favor of one big satellite company versus wireless(cellular) versus wired(coax&fiber), thus the competition in US will be fought between last mile implementation, not different companies offering the same local distribution.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
I agree. It's going to be a challenge for the government to resist cable mergers on the basis of harming competitive choice. Even if all of them merged, I don't think it would reduce Internet, video content or phone service competition for 99% of us. OTOH, sans signal obstructions, all of us have two satellite video content options. Allowing them to merge would harm everyone. I was surprised Sirius and XM were allowed to merge but I guess terrestrial radio (at least AM/SW bands) is everywhere and perhaps choice isn't harmed as much?

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: Bad idea!!!

sirris/xm was a hard sell even in it's hayday. now that everyone can simply plug their mp3/cellphone playlist with thousends of songs and audio books into their car amplifier, consolidating sirris/xm was the only way to keep that fringe service cost effective enough to stay alive.

consolidating the satellite companies might not be such a bad idea if it was joined with legislation that forced roof access for dish installs for multi dwelling units. where i live i can't get satellite simply because i'm not allowed on my apartment building's flat roof, and twcable has such a tight hold on our area that putting up one big dish to split out to many apartments would also be a fight on our coop board. so if the FCC was somehow able to mandate roof access, more buildings would concede to put up a few shared dishes, and then we'd finally have some real cabletv competition in my building, so from my perspective having one or more satellite companies won't matter, just being able to us ANY satellite company does.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: Bad idea!!!

Except Dish and DirecTV are cost effective enough to coexist.
--
Unicorns! Show ponies! Where's the beef?!
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
The real problem with satellite TV competition is that most internet providers charge an outrageous rate to subscribers who don't bundle with video. This is highly anti-competitive against the satellite companies. They used to be able to pair with DSL, but now that's too slow to be competitive, and with the possible exception of certain areas that have really good ADSL2+ setups that can do 10-15mbps, most internet that's fast enough for today's world (i.e. cable TV, U-Verse, and FIOS) are also on a pipe that's big enough to carry video, so there is an incentive to bundle by the incumbent provider. AT&T, to their credit, among many, many things that they're doing wrong, they do have reasonable pricing for unbundled U-Verse internet that isn't anti-competitive. FIOS is the worst offender, with Comcast being somewhere in the middle.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
Yeah because a monopoly worked out so great in the Ma Bell days.
--
Unicorns! Show ponies! Where's the beef?!

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2
Charlie Ergen should be fired, RIGHT NOW. He doesnt understand the difference between an apple, and an orange.
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN

Re: Bad idea!!!

He understands the difference, he's just being disingenuous. And hoping enough people in Washington don't understand the difference so he can push for another buyout. He's effectively trolling to see what kind of response he gets.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Dude you do realize he is the founder and drove the satellite tv industry by himself for years right ?
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: Bad idea!!!

by himself aye? Never saw him work on my roof.

And the point is that Dish/DTV is NOT Comcast/TimeWarner in any way. Those two satellite companies merging will never happen.
bamaraid

join:2007-11-12
Shanks, WV
I agree and directv is way better than dish please do not let them by directv, i have way more options now than if they merge.

treichhart

join:2006-12-12

Re: Bad idea!!!

directv sucks I had there service and the picture was way worse then my cable from my ISP.

not quite right
I'm not cool enough to be a Mac person

join:2001-06-23
Puyallup, WA
kudos:1
Plus I have directv now and don't want Charlie ruining it.
+1

wizardry

@ohio-state.edu

How does American Anti-Trust law even work?

Microsoft got slapped for using its operating system dominance in the browser market. Movie studios got their theaters divested. AT&T was broken up to separate local & long distance. Standard Oil was broken up.

But when is a business so big that it's unlawful? Where is the fine line between an exclusive contract and market foreclosure? What's the difference between bundling and tying? Between collusion and offer matching? Between dumping and price competition? And between a "natural monopoly" and unjust one?

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Re: How does American Anti-Trust law even work?

When the got "to big to fail"

Also, when politicians saw being a politician as a career not as public service.

FureverFurry
Premium
join:2012-02-20
Wyoming, MI
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Comcast
said by wizardry :

But when is a business so big that it's unlawful? Where is the fine line between an exclusive contract and market foreclosure? What's the difference between bundling and tying? Between collusion and offer matching? Between dumping and price competition? And between a "natural monopoly" and unjust one?

Good question. IMHO, the differences are LOBBYISTS and campaign contributions. Oh, and binding arbitration clauses that prevent consumer lawsuits.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Apples and Oranges...

Dish directly competes with Directv and at many addresses the only choice is Directv or Dish. So a merger will dry up any choice for some consumers. Comcast does not compete with Time Warner so a merger will mean nothing in the number of choices a customer of Comcast or TW has.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1

Re: Apples and Oranges...

i disagree , it still a unique competitor, every cable company should not have franchise territories.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

Re: Apples and Oranges...

said by DaveDude:

i disagree , it still a unique competitor, every cable company should not have franchise territories.

The fact is, there is currently not a single person who has a choice between Comcast and Time Warner, unless they want to move. Anybody with a clear view of the southern sky and an exclusive-use area has choice between Direct and Dish.

Mr Guy

@charter.com
said by DaveDude:

i disagree , it still a unique competitor, every cable company should not have franchise territories.

That's a myth. My state has statewide franchising. Comcast could come into my area if they want. All they have to do is request it. Doesn't matter what deal charter has with my city. The simple reason why they are not here is because it's not worth spending millions of dollars in infrastructure for less than 2000 customers.
rantou

join:2002-06-04
Wylie, TX

2 recommendations

Sirius & XM, anybody?

Look what happened with Sirius & XM when they merged. Prices are higher now (mostly due to added fees such as the music royalty fee), you have the same content except a handful of channels on each system, and in my opinion a waste of 12.5MHz of spectrum in the nifty 2.3GHz band. They even killed some of the better channels and personalities that XM brought to the table, and changed the focus to the same thing you hear on FM radio everywhere. Sure, it's a little different since they do have to generate their own channels, and Dish/DirecTV are carrying other people's channels, but it's still going to end in the same issue -- higher prices and less choices.

Mr Guy

@charter.com

Re: Sirius & XM, anybody?

Hate to break it to you but if they weren't allowed to merge neither Sirius or XM would exist right now and that spectrum would have been auctioned off and owned by 1 of the 4 major carriers right now. Or possibly Dish Network which would then sit on it while it decides if it actually wants to use it.

Dan A

join:2008-01-03
Kendall Park, NJ

This is the same Dish that does not carry any New York RSNs

I do not believe Dish Network can not be truly competitive in the New York they dropped MSG & SNY When "the fees got too high" and have never had a agreement with YES on the the other hand for years DirectTV has been marketed as haven for sports fans. If Dish were to take over DirectTV would they import this same philosophy and start dropping RSNs because of the bottom line. Next Buy Buy NFL Sunday Ticket? Why would any sports fan want to switch from cable or fiber. It would be better for the consumer the other way around if DirecTV was to buy Dish.
b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..

Comcast and Time Warner are not really competitors

Sure they are in the same business but name one market where they are direct competitors.

Unlike Dish and Direct TV who are direct competitors in every market.
--
Bellingham Scanner Kicks Ass! »bhamscanner.kicks-ass.org/

motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:4

Re: Comcast and Time Warner are not really competitors

if any thing this should sound an alarm that Comcast+TWC should be stopped because it is opening a pandoras box into too much consolidation. Honestly TWC isn't a failing company and they pretty much sold out to fend off charter and charter is to blame for all of this merger talk.
unoriginal
Premium
join:2000-07-12
San Diego, CA

Re: Comcast and Time Warner are not really competitors

I lay the blame at the feet of John Malone. Charter was just his vehicle for the getting the merger with TWC done once he started to buy up shares of that company.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2

Wrong.

If Comcast buys TWC, I still have 4 choices for pay TV - Comcast, Direct, Dish, and AT&T.

If Dish buys DirecTV, I have 3 choices. Some rural folks will be down to 1. Sorry Charlie, go away.

Mr Guy

@charter.com

Re: Wrong.

25 years ago before DirecTv and Dish how many choices did these rural people have?
mogamer

join:2011-04-20
Royal Oak, MI

Re: Wrong.

So that makes it OK to screw rural residents?

Mr Guy

@charter.com

Re: Wrong.

Did I say that? But also TV isn't a right. And there is OTA. And yes I'm aware not all rural people can get many stations in but it was that way before 1994.

If the prices are too high DO NOT BUY. Once these guys lose customers they will lower prices. But no one wants to bite the bullet an take one for the team they want someone else to do it and no one does and nothing changes. WOW shocking. NOT.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1
said by Mr Guy :

25 years ago before DirecTv and Dish how many choices did these rural people have?

C-band and in 1991 a few cable companies got together to form Primestar, and possibly HITS. I can't remember when HITS first came about, but I believe that was more of a mid 90's thing.

Mr Guy

@charter.com

Re: Wrong.

said by Happydude32:

said by Mr Guy :

25 years ago before DirecTv and Dish how many choices did these rural people have?

C-band and in 1991 a few cable companies got together to form Primestar, and possibly HITS. I can't remember when HITS first came about, but I believe that was more of a mid 90's thing.

Look I'm old enough to remember big satellite dishes. Besides being huge they were expensive. Not many people had them. Certainly not 1/4 of all households. Hell I grew up in the 70s and 80's I remember TV with dials, no remotes and maybe a half dozen channels and nothing on after 2 AM.
Happydude32
Premium
join:2005-07-16
kudos:1

Re: Wrong.

Well you asked what other choices people had 25 years ago, so I answered you. Big dishes were available, just because they might have not been ideal for you, doesn't mean they didn't exist.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Big difference

Dish and DirecTV DO compete, Comcast and Time Warner don't.

It's like Century Link serving Iowa and Verizon Serving Massachusetts after they broke up the Bell System. But Comcast wants to be the next Bell System in terms of Broadband with buying out Time Warner. Same with Dish Buying DirecTV, they'll become the next Bell System of satellite TV. But there is still choice with pay tv with satellite or cable. And your landlord can't restrict satellite dishes in certain instances (OTARD rules).

Maybe Dish is worth giving a second look at, especially after DirecTV dropped the Weather Channel and Dish has The Blaze which I like.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

•••
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Uh, No.

The correct whine is "If Sirius can merge with XM..."

Comcast and Time Warner do not compete with each other.
sava700

join:2005-03-08
united state

Good plan

Cheaper prices from Dish regardless of competition.
(you just can't argue the prices are cheaper from Dish and the equipment is better).
Direct has some good receivers but in the end its Dish always having the upper hand. The only selling point that gets people to switch from Dish to Direct is if they get really bent out of shape over something (which is normally their own fault) or something outside of what Dish can control so they see a awesome 2 year signon price to switch. They ignore the fact that after 2 years they will end up spending way more than what Dish charges. It will be cheaper in the long run for Dish to prevent people from playing the switch game anyway. This game is just riding the promo period and it happens every few years from people that just play the system. Dish has more satellites but you add in the few from Direct and you open up a ton of options for Dish placement as Direct aims more left and higher than Dish does on a western arc which is where most people need to aim to get locals and certain HD programming.

I'd love to see this happen, I'd love to see people just suck up the fact that they can no longer argue "I'll switch to Direct if you don't give me this that and everything else for free or come fix my TV cause my dog chewed thru the cable and do it all FREE!!!!". Yeah I get so tired of hearing that it is just lame.
dodgetech

join:2002-02-10
Forest Hill, MD

Merger is a bad idea

Comcast and Time Warner deal is just going to make Comcast an even bigger ISP with crappy customer service in a larger footprint than they already have. There will not be one customer that will benefit from this in my opinion!

The reason Dish and DirectTV were not allowed to merge was because they can be installed pretty much anywhere in the lower 48 states and therefore less competition throughout the country.
Comcast however along with TW have a fixed footprint so the regulators see this as OK.
Personally, this country needs better wireless Internet everywhere and this will give the citizens of this country more choices as TV anywhere rolls out from different MSOs and ISPs.
Dodgetech

“Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.”
George Washington

intok

join:2012-03-15

Re: Merger is a bad idea

Didn't prevent the XM and Sirius merger. A merger between Dish and Direct would give them nearly twice the broadcast bandwidth without having to launch any new satellites.

If they then also pick up Sirius/XM they could use it as an incentive to get people to switch as Dish already gives several Sirius channels with their service, but bundling the service for the car and set top units would be welcome.
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Chuck

@ptd.net

Still reduces competition

Despite the fact that these two companies do not have actively competing areas. They still provide price point competition. If they merge you lose that. You also lose any real possibility of competition in these areas in the future. Cable companies are already given an anticompetitive advantage that is disgusting to me. Partially due to the fact that it is such an expensive business to get into, but they already have virtually no competition. Why would anyone want to support this. Do you really think it could benefit you.